MBC Radio: Youth discuss reconciliation at Ottawa forum

MBC Radio: Youth discuss reconciliation at Ottawa forum

by Fraser Needham | Jun 8, 2018 | Current News, MBC News

Encouraging reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians is one of the features of a new youth rights document.

Fifteen youth delegates from across the country met in Ottawa earlier this week to finalize the Canadian Children’s Charter.

Others also participated in the process online.

Seventeen-year-old Alassua Hanson from Iqaluit, Nunavut was one of the youth delegates.

She says young people are a good and untapped source of knowledge in terms of issues directly affecting their communities.

“There’s a lot of youth who have a lot of knowledge in their community and in their country and it’s really amazing how such strong words 12-year-olds can have,” she says.

Hanson says she chose to focus during the meeting on some of the drug and alcohol addictions challenges her community faces and how education can be used as a positive force for the better.

The Canadian Children’s Charter was first drafted by youth in Ottawa last November during National Child Day.

Aside from reconciliation, the document also calls for better access to mental health services, combatting all forms of discrimination, an end to bullying and all forms of violence and giving youth a greater voice in all decisions that affect them.

The youth plan to present the final document to the United Nations this summer.

The forum was hosted and organized by the non-profit organization Children First Canada.